Navigating Gluten-Free-Land

The French have a reputation for being rude. I’ve never found that to be the case. In fact, the only rude French person I’ve ever met was at the consulate in San Francisco (maybe they export the rude ones as a deterrent?).

I first visited Paris in 1993 with my friend Sue. We arrived at Charles de Gaulle with way too much luggage and no clue. We had no hotel reservations, didn’t speak a word of French, didn’t even have a guidebook. But from the moment we landed, it seemed people went out of their way to help us.

Our hotel desk clerk drew intricately detailed maps for us each day. Then, he’d stuff our pockets full of hotel business cards to give to taxi drivers when we inevitably went off-map. I’m sure he feared he would never see us again every time we left the hotel, and visibly breathed a sigh of relief when we eventually made it back.

When we were out exploring, people often would stop and offer assistance. Once, while we stared haplessly at the map in a métro station, a passing Frenchman not only helped us figure out our route, he also bought our tickets and showed us to the correct platform. Another time, as we wandered up and down the Champs Elysées searching for a nightclub that the hotel bartender had recommended, another Frenchman stopped and helped us find our way.

The fact that we were young and cute might have had something to do with it. But I am still convinced that the French are genuinely helpful and courteous. Without the help of these friendly Parisians, our trip would have been frustrating and much less enjoyable than it was. Instead, we both came to love Paris and have returned again and again.

Going gluten free is a lot like visiting a foreign city. It can be confusing and frustrating and make you feel more than a little lost. When I first went gluten free more than 10 years ago, there wasn’t a lot of information available, and gluten-free products were pretty bad. I wish there’d been a helpful “local” to help me navigate gluten-free-land.

Today, there’s much more info and much better products available. But going gluten free can still be confusing and frustrating at first. So, we at Jake’s Cakes are here to help. We want to make your move to gluten free as easy and enjoyable as possible. We’ll be posting tips and recipes and helpful info that we’ve accumulated over the past 10 years. If you have a question, feel free to reach out to us. Just think of us as your friendly gluten-free-land tour guides.